From the Magazine27.02.2015

Parmigiani Fleurier and Lalique – Night and Day

Parmigiani Fleurier and Lalique unite to announce two prestigious projects, which will combine superior watchmaking artistry with the material expertise of crystal workers and jewellery makers. Mechanical and decorative complexity come together to transform the horological movement and its exterior into a truly exceptional piece.

Martina Zaharieva
+2 imagesParmigiani Fleurier and Lalique – Night and Day

Martina Zaharieva, Editor-in-Chief

In 2015, Parmigiani Fleurier and Lalique unite to announce two prestigious projects, which will combine superior watchmaking artistry with the material expertise of crystal workers and jewellery makers. Mechanical and decorative complexity come together to transform the horological movement and its exterior into a truly exceptional piece. At the basis of this interesting partnership is the philosophy the two companies share when it comes to their work. Both brands have their own manufacture, allowing their creations to be produced independently. Similarly, each one upholds and consistently relies on the most authentic craftsmanship, nurturing their expertise to ensure long-term excellence.

The Le Jour et La Nuit project has introduced two tabletop clocks – Soleil de Gaïa and Serpent, which depict the poetic allegory of the dark night and bright day, contradicting each other while, at the same, completing each other. This is one of master jewellery maker Rene Lalique’s (1860-1945) favourite themes to explore. In 1926, he creates the emblematic image of Le Jour et La Nuit, in which the night takes on a feminine image using polished glass while day is depicted as a more masculine body using glass with a satin finish. The figures are meant to symbolize duplicity, expressed as Yin and Yang in Oriental culture, which was an important influence on Rene Lalique in the beginning of the 20th century.

Lalique and Parmigiani Fleurier are breathing new life into this often revisited theme through the unveiling of their two unique designs. The dial of Soleil de Gaia pays homage to the goddess of the Earth from Greek mythology of the same name. Her image is linked to the sun and associated with the creation of life through light. In keeping with the motif of duplicity, the dial itself has two faces - one gleams in yellow gold and coral like the sun, the other – in white gold and black, representative of the night. Serpent, on the other hand, refers to the myth of beauty through the story of Pythia, an incredibly beautiful woman, often depicted in the form of a butterfly. According to mythology, she was betrothed to a snake but managed to run away from her predicament.

To produce these two clocks, the steel mould used for the original design was recreated in full. The melted crystal was then collected by the master crystal-makers by means of a blowpipe, before being moulded to form the pattern. Once cooled, every detail of the design is manually reworked to perfection. This is particularly demanding and delicate work as it must yield a perfect balance between the depictions of the man and woman, one worked in counter-relief and the other in relief. The intertwined feet and hands of the figurines bring the couple together in a movement where the man and woman must be sculpted in harmonious continuity, without destroying the balance of the dance created by the position of their bodies. The transparency of the materials allows this movement to be observed from every angle by showing the time on one side and leaving the interior mechanism exposed on the other.

As a tribute to the expertise and history of Lalique, the crystal has been produced in two colour variations: The Sun dial is encased in colourless crystal, iconic by virtue of its transparency and purity. The Serpent dial is encased in amber crystal, a reference to one of the three colours produced for the original model. The amber crystal glows around the yellow-gold case, presenting warm reflections of light. The Soleil de Gaïa and Serpent clocks are fitted with one of the first horological movements created by Parmigiani Fleurier, therefore constituting a tribute, or rather a nod, to the brand's early days.
The two brands invested more than 2160 hours in the project’s production.






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